Tipsy Cheesy Bread

Last week, I read a wall post trail on Facebook where some friends of mine were discussing restaurants in proximity to the SXSW conference. The dish “drunken cheese bread” from Max’s Wine Bar came up several times — punctuated with exclamation marks and exuberant superlatives of love — along with similarly enthusiastic references to a restaurant named “Moonshine.”

I’m not sure, but I think the fine people of Austin, Texas like their booze.

Or maybe it’s just my friends.

Either way, my curiosity was piqued. The combination of cheese and bread baked in wine sounded like a winner to me.

A quick googling revealed a popular recipe from Real Simple magazine. Gruyère? Lots of Gruyère? This cheese lovin’ girl says, yes, please.

Always one to fiddle, I replaced onions with shallots, and ham with prosciutto. And then threw in some fresh thyme, because fresh thyme is always a good idea.

Prepared as individual servings, it was the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of soup. And surprisingly, not as heavy as a half pound of cheese would lead you to believe.

Along with the other liberties I took with the original recipe, I also chose to replace the clumsy frat word “drunken” with the slightly more delicate “tipsy” in the recipe’s title. I would totally serve this at a dinner party, where it is gauche to be drunken but perfectly charming to be tipsy.

Tipsy Cheesy Bread

adapted liberally from Real Simple magazine

butter, for the serving dish
1/2 French baguette (or 1 batard), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large shallot (or 2 small), thinly sliced
1/8 pound very thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 cup white wine (I used Barefoot Chardonnay)
1 1/2 to 2 cups (6 – 8 ounces) grated Gruyère
1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed, stem discarded
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

This recipe can be made in four individual 16 oz. serving bowls or one 2-quart baking dish. Serves 4.

1. Preheat oven to 400° F.

2. Butter the sides and bottom of the baking dish(es). Add the bread cubes, then scatter the shallots and prosciutto on top. Toss lightly to mix the layers of ingredients.

3. Pour the wine over the bread, shallots and ham, going slowly to allow the wine to soak into the bread rather than pool on the bottom of the dish. Top with the grated Gruyere, and sprinkle the thyme and pepper.

4. Bake until the cheese melts and begins to brown, about 15-20 minutes.

5. Leftovers hold up quite well, should there be any — reheat in preheated 350° F oven until cheese is melted.

Print This Recipe


  1. This looks amazing, as I love wine, bread, prosciutto and cheese! Yum!

  2. Austin has drive-through liquor stores. Not liquor stores with drive throughs, but ones you actually drive through.

  3. Hmmmm. Bread pudding for those of us who need something a little stronger :-) Excellent!

  4. Phyllis Ryan says:

    Yeah Cher. Bread Pudding. Yummmm.

  5. Your recipe sounds perfectly delightful. I can’t imagine anyone not being all over this. And good call on the fresh thyme!

  6. A perfectly good use for Chardonnay. I like your substitutions! Even at 6 a.m., this is making my mouth water.

  7. This sounds perfect, as it’s freezing here again. Wine, bread, cheese: you really can’t go wrong, can you? Bookmarking. I know winter is going to stick around a bit longer.

  8. Um. I think I’m in love. This looks/sounds absolutely delicious, and this fellow cheese-loving gal is intrigued!

  9. Recipes like this make me appreciate the weeklong rain we’ve been hammered with….

  10. So it’s fondue with the bread already in it? That’s insane and amazing. I love it!

  11. Yum, sounds so good, but so bad 😉

  12. I’m surprised that with all your sometimes snobby, high-falutin’ ways, that you actually used Barefoot chardonnay. That’s, like, the toilet water of the wine world.

    I realize that this is your site, and you can act in whatever way you please, and I can just not read it, but just reading on how you judge things, it’s sometimes a surprise to see what ingredients you like, and the ones that you don’t.

    • Hi Darlene! Thanks for stopping by and adding your 2 cents to the interwebs here on my little blog. If SoupAddict comes off as snobby and high-falutin’, then I suspect that you haven’t read enough posts to understand that it’s self-deprecation.

      It’s okay if you don’t like SoupAddict. Sometimes I don’t like her either. Like, to your point, I really wish that she had an appreciation of fine wine, because it seems like a very pleasant hobby. Instead, she saddles me with the likes of Barefoot and Boone’s Farm.

      (But on the other hand, the Barefoot brand does come in these handy little 4-packs with 2 cup bottles. Super convenient for cooking.)


      • You are totally right, Karen, I did not read enough to judge your personality. Oddly enough, you are very much like me. And as I read my comment again, I’m the snobby one. I apologize–bad day over here, what with all the flooding and evacuating. If you ever need any wine recommendations, I’d be happy to help. There are better options that come in the little four packs (which are awesome). Fish Eye is one of them. But, I’m no expert, so who I am to say anything? Keep up the great work–I am thoroughly enjoying perusing your site. Your self-deprecating humor made me smile today.

        • SoupAddict says:

          I’m really glad you stopped back. My thoughts are with you and all the folks who are really roughing it through remanents of all this crazy weather. Be safe!

          I’d love recommendations for the four packs! I’ll keep an eye out for the Fish Eye – that’s a brand I’ve eyeballed in the store before. (I do believe the previous statement might be the record for the most uses of “eye” in one sentence.)


  13. This looks delicious! We’re not big pork fans at our house…do you have any suggestions for a prosciutto substitution? I’d really like to try this.

    • SoupAddict says:

      Assuming you don’t like any pork … even sausage, which I also recommend (although if you like chicken sausage, I really enjoy chicken-apple-tarragon sausage, which you can sometimes find in larger grocery stores or specialty retailers like Whole Foods).

      Where was I? Oh! I haven’t tried this, but I think I would leave out the meat altogether add a really nice smoked gouda or smoked cheddar to the mix. Hm, that’s sounding better and better the more I think about it …. :)

Speak Your Mind